Monday, June 23, 2008

Negativland, Culture Jammers, and the infringement festival


A resistance movement based on the production of counter-culture. The term was coined by the band Negativland in 1984. Kalle Lasn's 1999 book "Culture Jam" helped popularize the movement.

To culture jam is to make a cultural comment on a cultural artifact that is recognized inherently in our minds through semiotics. It changes the symbol we see and adjusts the meaning to make a statement.

It is the act of transforming existing mass media to produce negative commentary about itself, using the original medium's communication method. It is a form of public activism which is generally in opposition to commercialism, and the vectors of corporate image. The aim of culture jamming is to create a contrast between corporate image and the realities of the corporation. This is done symbolically, with the "detournement" of pop iconography.

It is based on the idea that advertising is little more than propaganda for established interests, and that there is a lack of an available means for alternative expression in industrialized nations. Culture jamming is a resistance movement to the hegemony of popular culture, based on the ideas of "guerrilla communication." It has several forms: adbusting, guerilla theater, billboard hijacking, and graffiti. 

For more on the culture jamming movement, check out Naomi Klein's book No Logo or some of the links below. 

What is an infringement Festival, anyways?


The infringement is a democratically run, non-hierarchical interdisciplinary arts festival open to all critical artists - theatre, music, film, street performance, visual arts, you name it.


The infringement will never discriminate, censor or charge a registration fee and only accepts ethical sponsors that pose no conflict of interest.


It began in Montreal in 2004 and has since spread to Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo, Regina, New York City and Bordeaux, France, with new communities hopefully joining very soon.


Links that need to be further investigated for their other links!:

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